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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, September 23rd 2020

Lam says Bears must level up for semi final

Pat Lam says his side will need raise their game to the next level when they take on Bordeaux-Bègles in the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup on Friday night (7.45pm KO, BT Sport 1 HD).

The Bears enjoyed a seven-try victory over Dragons in the previous round, but the Director of Rugby has warned that the leaders of curtailed 2019/20 Top 14 season will pose a huge challenge at Ashton Gate.

'Bordeaux another level up'

“It’s all very well making a quarter final, but ultimately with the goal of trying to win the trophy, you need to progress to the next steps. So, while it was a good performance, we quickly moved on and we have another step in the process to try and get to the final, which gives us that chance to play for the trophy.

“It’s an important game, it’s another step up – Bordeaux is another level and a quality side, so we’ve trained and prepared accordingly.

“Bordeaux were leading the Top 14 before Covid and going really well, and post-Covid they’ve restarted well too and they had a very good win against a strong Edinburgh side and we know there is quality in their team as well.

Preparation is key

“We’re under no illusions as to how tough this game will be. While people might make us favourites and think that we’ll make it, we’ve got to do the work and to do that we’ve got to get our training done well and prepare well.

“We’ve looked at them and seen that they aren’t typically French – if anything, they are a bit more English (in style). They’ve got a good kicking game, without a doubt they’ve got threats – however, we’ve talked about their kicking game and making sure we are in the air, competing against the contestable kicks, but also making sure that we don’t give them too much space in that backfield.”


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